SCOTLAND’S national clinical director has apologised after dismissing revelations that a safety equipment firm had been told by the UK Government not to send stock to care homes in Scotland and Wales.

Jason Leitch said the story about the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) from Gompels was “rubbish”.

But the business has since posted a message on its website saying it could only send the kit to care homes and agencies looking after the elderly in their own homes after receiving advice from Public Health England.

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Speaking this morning, Leitch said: “I think I should first of all say sorry for my part in confusion on Tuesday morning. I over spoke a little and should have been more circumspect in my response.”

He added: “In turns out that Public Health England and the Department of Health haven’t given instructions to companies not to provide PPE to Scottish providers.”

Initially when asked about concerns raised by umbrella body Scottish Care, the national clinical director said: “We have looked into it and we think it’s rubbish. So, the companies and our colleagues at NHS England yesterday, when we spoke to them, said it wasn’t true.”

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Later it was revealed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that the national clinical director was not fully aware of all the facts when gave the interview.

Gompels has now committed to supply all 2000 essential products –minus three unspecified items – to Scottish services.

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